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This Canada Day, help improve our democracy


Canada’s democracy needs your help. Canadians across the country are frustrated with the state of affairs, from the local level to national issues. Open North, a national non-profit organisation, uses internet technology to improve our democracy.

Already convinced? Make a contribution here.

Founded in 2011, Open North has already made a positive impact, but there is much left to do. We build digital tools to educate and empower citizens to exercise their political influence and participate actively in Canadian democracy. We want to make it easier for Canadians like you to have a voice and make a difference.

You might already be familiar with some of Open North’s most popular projects:

  • Citizen Budget helps local governments like the Plateau Mont-Royal organize online budget consultations

  • Represent is the most comprehensive database of Canadian elected officials, making it easier for citizens to find and contact their representatives at the municipal, provincial and federal levels

  • Ma Mairie (My City Hall) helps Montrealers follow local politics (and we would love to bring it to other cities)

Open North funds its work through projects with media organizations, corporate sponsorships, government grants, and sales of Citizen Budget. But to increase the impact of our work across the country, we need your help. This Canada Day, Open North hopes to raise $10,000 to invest in a high-impact project that will improve Canada’s democracy: Citizen Writes, inspired by the successful Parliament Watch in Germany.

Parliament Watch allows citizens to publicly ask questions both to candidates during elections and to representatives in office. Since 2004, average citizens have asked more than 140,000 questions and 80% of them have been answered by politicians.

This type of public question-and-answer system acts as a shared memory for voters, helping them hold politicians to their word. By engaging publicly with representatives, citizens empower backbench MPs to take a stance on issues before public and party policy is set. These personal exchanges strengthen the identity of individual MPs. And having the conversation in public encourages politicians to respond authentically, because it’s obvious when they’re using stock answers. With your help, we can develop this powerful tool for Canada.

Make a contribution today to our non-profit with all major credit cards or with your PayPal account. For corporate contributions, contact us at Contributions are not tax deductible.

James McKinney, Executive Director, and the rest of the Open North team

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